Ch16: Truly Alone

Copyright © 2013 by P.A. Lackey
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No part of this story may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. 

Chapter Sixteen: Truly Alone

Arius moved through the hall as he could feel hostiles storming the warehouse from every direction. They had them surrounded, but he still had the shadows on his side. His mind ran rampant as he didn’t know what to think. What would he tell the others?
He was back upon the second floor because of the hostiles who quickly approached from the first floor. He retraced his steps the way he had come, before finding himself in the large room where the gas container had been found.
His eyes moved to the door he needed to go through, but he spotted Brockumus’ body slumped upon the floor. A trail of blood led toward him, and Arius was convinced that he was dead. Moving forward he rolled the man over who groaned with whatever life he had left.
“Brockumus,” Arius said, cradling the man.
“You must run,” the man returned. “Dueson will kill you.”
“Why did you sabotage the ship?”
“It had to be done. It’s too late to explain, but know that you must go. The others don’t trust you. Dueson will use that to his advantage.”
“You have to tell me who you’re working for.”
“I can’t. Go.”
Brockumus’ head fell back as he breathed his last. Arius’ stomach turned hard as he watched the closest thing he had to a friend die. Suddenly he felt alone.
The hostiles were moving closer, and now he was sure the exits were blocked. Resting Brockumus’ body upon the floor he cast his eyes to the large window behind the desk. Moving forward he smashed it with the butt of his rifle, and spotted the lower wing of the warehouse below. He could see several hostiles moving about the perimeter below, and he jumped before they could cast their lights toward the shattered window.
A loud thud sounded as he bounced off of the metal roof, and he began to slide to the edge where he fell to the pavement below. Arius’ breath was knocked out of him, and his left ankle pulsed in pain. He had twisted it on his way down.
Lights past over him as he stared toward the sky. He remained concealed within the darkness, and soon the hostiles were moving in for a closer look.
Arius rolled over with a grunt and spotted the gas can by his side. Luckily the nozzle had remained secure so no gasoline was spilling out. Grabbing the can, he slipped past the soldiers unnoticed though a limp slowed him down.  
He headed toward the beach ignoring the flaring pain in his ankle. It made his travel slow, but he didn’t have much farther to go. The last building was before him, and the sandy beach was after it. Pressing his back against the building he peered around the corner toward the boat house which was only a few yards away.
Jayvolni was waiting outside along with three others. One of them was Thorim, and the other two Gruegon and Camus. Apparently they had caught up, and now Arius had to figure out a way to explain everything to them. By now they were aware of the commotion at the warehouse as the leather soldiers were in frenzy over there.
Arius began to step out, but pressed himself back against the building as soon as he spotted Dueson approaching the men. Apparently he had made it out of the warehouse alive.
“What happened?” Arius could feel Thorim’s voice in the air. “Where are the others?”
“Arius,” replied Dueson with a flare of anger in his voice. “He killed my brother, and I don’t know what he did to Brockumus. He’s a traitor.”
Arius’ hands turned clammy. How could Dueson set him up after what happened? His brother was killed at the hands of Brockumus, but yet he continued to set him up.
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure! I was there, I held my brother until he died.”
“Where is Arius now?” asked Jayvolni.
“I don’t know.”
“We need to get out of here sir,” Camus said. “We don’t have gas for the boat.”
Thorim appeared uncertain. Was Arius really the culprit, he wondered. Pushing his thoughts aside he acknowledged Camus’ point and the group started back into town. Jayvolni grabbed Dueson by the shoulder and gave his regrets. The two followed Thorim into the night leaving Arius to himself.

What would he do now? He had no place to go, and his only allies were now against him. He was truly alone, and he could only trust himself. 

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